The Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — is reviewing and rating the 39 competing songs in Eurovision 2021. Next we turn to Finland where the “violent pop” band Blind Channel has “Dark Side”. Did it make us want to go over to the dark side? Read on to find out!
Blind Channel – “Dark Side”
“Dark Side” reviews
Deban: “Dark Side” is inspired by rebellion rock — the sound that made bands like Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park and Son of Dork insanely popular. Though it sounds somewhat retro for today’s ears, it is a refreshing accompaniment to what’s on offer at Eurovision 2021. Blind Channel are great live performers that thrive on big stages. Rock fans would gravitate towards this, and would most likely vote in support. Despite Eurovision having two rock entries this year, this Finnish number one track is considerably broader in scope.
Jonathan: As someone who started their journey in the Eurovision fandom as a lover of the power ballad, I can’t claim to have always been a regular listener of the grittier side of music. However, Blind Channel’s violent pop has hit a sweet spot that has increasingly developed over recent years. This perhaps suggests it has crossover appeal to those less accustomed to such sounds. “Dark Side” is loud, powerful and dynamic from the word go, but it also has enough changes of pace to give it elements of light and shade. You don’t win your national final with 370 more points than the runner-up for no reason. Finland could well be on the cusp of achieving their best result for over a decade.
Oliver: Blind Channel have tremendous stage presence and bring a real breath of life to their live performance. And admittedly, the production is stellar. However, no amount of energy or studio polish can disguise how dated this song is. Just search Papa Roach’s back catalogue — as an homage to 90s rock, “Dark Side” is perfect. But it relies too heavily on the predictable cheesy tropes of the genre that ultimately mark it as retro and uninteresting. Beyond that, the lyrics feel somewhat inappropriate. Though Joel and Niko have explained their reasons for including the “27 club” line, the sentiment is far too nuanced to cut through the noise — and could read as distasteful to any innocent listener. Nevertheless, “Dark Side” will stand out as memorable and will likely be well-received by fans who crave a change of pace from ballads and dance-pop.
Pablo: We were in need of something like this and we got plenty of bang for our buck! “Dark Side” dares to touch a nerve that hasn’t been stimulated in a long time; a nu-metal, edgy, savage side plucked straight from my teen years; that twisted side that gorged on everything that was mid to late 00s American rock: Linkin Park, Jimmy Eat World and tracks ripped straight from the Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 soundtrack. Blind Channel goes hard without an iota of compromise, making this the most exciting Finnish entry in a very long time, and it better be rewarded as such.
William: The band’s request for viewers to put their middle fingers up isn’t disrespectful. It’s actually an empowering call to stand up and be counted, even when systems or clicks try to exclude you. Musically this may nod to Linkin Park, but this isn’t in any way derivative. Blind Channel have their own frequency and chemistry — they perform with panache and fire, nailing their spins and headbangs without ever veering into the outré. Musically this comes with one of the best hooks of the year — and one sung in perfect harmony despite the deliberately rough sound. My favourite rock entry of the year.
Blind Channel – “Dark Side” rankings
In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 3.5 and a high of 10.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.34/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!